Monday, November 24, 2008


BRUSSELS, Belgium (November 24,2008) - The North Atlantic Council (NAC) and the Political and Security Committee (PSC) of the European Union met on 24 November 2008 to discuss the spouyheastern Europe, in particular the political situation in Bosnia.

“We are concerned about the situation in Bosnia, and about the rhetoric,” EU foreign policy Chief Javier Solana said after the meeting.

NATO leaders have called on Bosnia’s three most influential political parties, which signed an agreement over some of the most hotly contested issues in the country, to put the deal into practice.

“It is important that there is agreement and that the agreement is implemented,” NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said.

“We have the text now and implementation is important,” he added.

Leaders of the three most influential political parties in Bosnia agreed at the beginning of November, on the basic principles of how to resolve some of the key issues, including those required for the transition of the Office of the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia (OHR) into the Office of the EU Special Representative (EUSR), and to push ahead with the country’s European Union accession.

President of the the largest Bosnian political party "SDA" Sulejman Tihic,President of the largest political party of the Croatians living in Bosnia "HDZ" Dragan Covic and President of the largest political party of the Serbians living in Bosnia "SNSD" and leader of the genocidal Serbian fascist creature in Bosnia "RS" Milorad Dodik met on November 8 near the northern Bosnian town of Bosanski Samac with the aim of reaching an agreement over the several highly disputed issues.

In only two hours, they reached a general agreement on a process of future constitutional changes, questions that would be covered in 2011 census, as well as regulation of the status of the Brcko District and state property.

But much of the debate following the agreement has been almost as heated as the debate preceding it. The agreement was made possible because two parties from the ruling coalition – the SBIH Party, and the HDZ1990 Party – were not invited to the meeting. Both parties are junior partners in the ruling coalition at the state level.

HDZ1990 President Bozo Ljubic said the agreement on the process of future constitutional changes is “unacceptable”. He accused the three parties of trying to establish “a monopoly” in representing the three main ethnic groups in Bosnia, as well as full control over the most lucrative public companies.

a member of the Bosnian State Presidency Haris Silajdzic from the SBIH Party went further and accused Tihic and SDA of betraying Bosnian national interests and yielding before Serbian fascists. Silajdzic stressed that only the agreement on the legalisation of the status of the Brcko District is acceptable, and rejected all other agreed items.


SARAJEVO ,Bosnia (November 24,2008) - The Bosnian government approved yesterday the sale of a 49 percent stake in the Bosnian national carrier B&H Airlines to Turkish Airlines (THY).

THY Chairman Candan Karlıtekin said yesterday they are still continuing talks with their Bosnian counterparts to finalize the sale, adding that a deal with B&H Airlines on the transfer of shares will be signed soon.

Previously, Karlıtekin had said they expected to get a voice in the European aviation market with the B&H Airlines agreement. He noted again yesterday that they will have an airline company in Europe, stressing that, although B&H Airlines is a small company, this step was nevertheless important for bringing THY closer to its goal of having an effective presence in the global market.

Karlıtekin noted that B&H Airlines had significant market potential despite its small size.

"The company has a 14 percent market share in Bosnia and we expect to increase this threefold with the new investments that we plan to make," he said.

THY will have three representatives on the B&H Airlines executive board and they do not plan to go beyond the 49 percent share they are currently working on. THY aims to increase flights between the southeastern European countries, as well as flights to London's Heathrow Airport, the largest airport in England.


CHISINAU, Moldova (November 24,2008) - Representatives from 12 countries have gathered together for the eighth Youth Forum of the Central European Initiative (CEI). The event is hosted by Moldova, which has been holding the CEI presidency since 1 January 2009.

Moldovan Education and Youth Minister Larisa Savga said that the Forum's goal is to consolidate the Youth trough mobility, which offers equal chances to students and teachers to study in the European countries. In the context, Savga said that the education system of Moldova, which joined the Bologna Process in May 2005, meets the European standards.

Savga said that the academic changes are underway in Moldova and noted that over 300 scholarships to study abroad were offered to Moldovan students in 2008, but this number is much higher due to the higher mobility between education institutions.

The participants in the Forum are to sign today the final declaration on the promotion of opportunities for schools to ensure better conditions for teaching and learning foreign languages, to participate in the European educational exchange and mobility programmes, to facilitate transition between educational systems and to promote the free movement of young people in Europe.

The CEI is composed of 18 states: Albania, Austria, Belarus, Bosnia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Italy, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine and Hungary.


MOSTAR, Bosnia (November 24,2008) - Local police deployed additional troops to prevent the latest in a series of clashes among Bosnian youths and Croatians living in Bosnia in the southern Bosnian city of Mostar.

Dozens of teenagers gathered on Sunday night on each side of Mostar’s main Boulevard, the thoroughfare which passes through the centre of town, which was the wartime front line between the Croatian fascist aggressor and the Bosnian Army. Alerted by members of the general public, local police swiftly deployed and prevented an incident.

Up to five persons were briefly detained, police officials told media today.

Ethnic tensions among youths in Mostar soared after a brawl broke out during a local soccer match last week. Throughout the week these tensions triggered a series of smaller incidents and escalated in a major fight on Friday afternoon, which involved a few dozen youths.

One Bosnian teenager was slightly injured in the clash. On that occasion, police arrested one and identified four more suspects. Because of the soaring tensions, police maintained a reinforced presence in the city throughout the weekend, ready to prevent any further violence.

Police officials also complained that the city school administration was aware of the brewing tensions but did nothing to prevent it or alert the police in time.

Bosnians and Croatians living in Bosnia fought bitterly for a year during the 1992-1995 Croatian aggression against Bosnia. Mostar was heavily damaged during this conflict.

The international community has invested extra efforts in normalising the situation in the city.


TUZLA, Bosnia (November 24,2008) - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will maintain strong presence in Bosnia, and continue to endorse banks, microfunding organizations, the financial sector and all the other elements of the Bosnian economy, the head of the bank’s country office Giulio Moreno has announced.

However, he has also said, EBRD’s capacities are limited, and the Bosnian government need to take appropriate measures. Speaking at a Tuzla conference about the effects of the global financial conference, Moreno said that the Bosnian authorities have several typical steps at their disposal in times of crisis, and one of them are tax benefits on new investments.

All the other measures boosting the purchasing power are also a part of that. He expects big problems in Bosnia’s real economy, and not so much in banking and financial sectors.

The EBRD is owned by 61 countries and two intergovernmental institutions. Despite its public sector shareholders, it invests mainly in private enterprises, usually together with commercial partners.

EBRD provides project financing for banks, industries and businesses, both new ventures and investments in existing companies. It also works with publicly owned companies to support privatization, restructuring state-owned firms and improvement of municipal services.

The following countries are members and recipients of investments : Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.